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November 11, 1984 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-11-11

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Page 5

The MiignnDalilv

Sunday, November 11, 1984


I WSW evil" ~

Guns and fuf in


By Byron Bull
currently on view at the State
Theater is probably the best
filmed comic book to date. This low
budget action/adventure fantasy is as
} tacky looking, idea vacant, and
vulgarly dynamic as any Heavy Metal
guns-n-hardware epic, and just as ap-
pealing in an odd, guilty way.
Stealing unflinchingly from its genre
forefathers, A Boy And His Dog, Road
Warrior, and most notably the neglec-
ted Westworld, Terminator still.
manages to regurgitate it all with fresh
The storyline, two soldiers who travel
back in time from the next century to
} present day Los Angeles, is straight out
of a teenage paperback yarn. One of
them is a robot assassin (ex-
weightlifter Arnold Schwarzenegger)
alled The Terminator, dispatched by
its computer ruler to murder the
woman who will one day give birth to a
son destined to lead a human uprising
against the future machine dominated
world. Pitted against him is Kyle,
(Michael Biehn), a human commando
!who has to find the woman, a waitress
named Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton)
i and then somehow protect her from the
indestructable Terminator.
Even in the undemanding role of a
fobot, Schwarzenegger taxes his acting

abilities to their limit. He has little to do
but kick in walls and stroll about, an
automatic rifle blazing from each hand,
but there's a slightly ansent, not-quite-
look in his eyes. But he's flexing his
massive biceps and breaking a lot of
things, so its not as if he's treading new
ground or anything.
The one thing in Schwarzenegger's
favor, his sole asset in films, is that he
possesses the most amazing moveable
set piece ever seen in a film, his body,
and the film makes strong use of that
asset. Even if he doesn't project much
presence, all Schwarzenegger has to do
is lumber in front of the camera and he
sucks up the scenery like a black hole.
The bulk of the script is a thinly sket-
ched model of B-movie sloppiness and
absurdity, existing only as a faint
thread to tie together the innumerable,
brillantly staged action scenes. There's
a briefly suggested romance between
Kyle and Sarah (with some of the most
inane dialogue ever mouthed by a
group of amateur actors) but essen-
tially the film is a collage of one
shootout after another. There are no
surprises in store, and anyone with a
passing familiarization of the genre can
predict what's going to happen a half
hour before it does.
It's the individual five, ten minute
scenes that comprise the backbone of
Terminator, and director James

Cameron (perhaps the most talented
graduate of Roger Corman's schlock
film factory since Joe Dante) milks
every one of them for maximum effec-
Cameron has a nice, furiously fluid
camera style, and edits with a rapid
fire precision, and some sequences,
such as The Terminator blasting away
a crowded disco, or walking into a
police precinct and single-handedly
reducing it to rubble, are brutally stun-
ning. But for all the carnage, and there
are more extras here slaughtered than
in a dozen war films, it's not
gratuitously explicit like a teenage
psycho thriller.
Cameron is not by any means a com-
pletely successful filmmaker, his
background is in special effects and
cinemetography,.so he's awkward with
his cast, and the cast itself is rather
lame to compound the problem. Though
he may be able to choreograph and
execute a battle with numbing effec-
tiveness, he handles a lovemaking
scene with all the tender empathy of a
gorilla. Whether or not he's a poten-
tially noteworthy filmmaker, or merely
an idiot savant who sat through enough
Spielberg and Ridley Scott films to pick
up the tricks by osmosis, remains to be
The Terminator has all the charm of
a cleverly made super-eight amateur
film, which is really what it is at heart.

Michael Biehn stars with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a man from the future who comes back to our time to cause a little
harmless death and destruction.

The Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig

Ask Larry 'Bud' at the Michigan

By Bob King
dawn on a Tuscan hillside, and the
radient harmonies of Leipzig's Gewan-
'haus orchestra eclipsed even the
*aise of its critical acclaim.
It wasn't with a balmy indolence but
with a sensuous softness that the
'rewandhaus began Mendelssohn's
Fourth Symphony (the "Italian"), a
romance whose irratinal passion is
tempered only by the compser's
memories of southern Italy's volup-
ticus clime.
Though a fine example of German
exoticism, Mendelssohn actually com-
psed this work during and shortly after
a tour of Italy. As happens with artists,
: he was never satisfied enough to
publish the symphony, and though
completed in 1833, two years before he
became director of the Gewandhaus,
the "Italian" was not publicly perfor-
med until 1849, two years after his
death, by his own orchestra at Leipzig.
The romantic expressiveness of this
symphony points towards the plaintive
narratives of the later Nineteenth Cen-
tury, and leaves the listener certain
that he was being spoken to, and would
understand if only his ears were not too
dull to catch the words.
The "Italian," however, is more
physical than verbal, the Saltarello
R especially beginning with the Bacchic
fury of a Mediterranean dance. The
current theme is repeated not with the
effort of asserting an unsure idea, but
rather with the passionate attempt to
vocalize a physical vision, which
having defied words threatens the same
ellusion of harmony.
The musicians of Leipzig were them-
selves as stunning as the score. The
strings compare to the Vienna
Philharmonic's, and not unfavorably;
the woodwinds and brass perhaps only
sounded rough in comparison. 150 of the
Gewandhaus' full roster of 200 travel on
overseas tours, the remaining
musicians performing at Leipzig's
opera house, its Church of St. Thomas,
And in over a dozen ensembles and
chamber orchestras. Still, with their
performance Friday night it was hard
to believe that the Gewandhaus left any
talent at home.
The orchestra returned after inter-
mission to perform the much larger
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major of
Ludwig van Beethoven. Composed in
1803-04, the "Eroica" is xhe first of the
Nineteenth Century epic symphonies.
Its length-the second movement alone
progresses through 16 minutes-claims

the Third for a type of the superhuman
Ninth Symphony two decades away.
More impressive, however, is that
Beethoven in this massive production
exceeds the internal unity of movemen-
ts developed by Haydn and Mozart by
constructing the entire symphony as an
organic whole. To have left out a
movement, as Mozart himself could do
in his 39th, would have been to evoke a
hero without arms.
Masur himself was sensitive to the
scores of both composers, and though
clearly a man dedicated to subtlety and
restraint flashed his head and arms in
expression more energetically than
Stravinsky's dancers. He may not prac-
tice the zen of van Karajan, but Kurt
Masur's unity with his music is cer-
tainly a Western equivalent.
There was perhaps a word or two
spoken in Hill Auditorium on the ap-
parent restraint of the "Eroica,"
perhaps of the golden softness of the
strings singing too smoothly of the
Golden Age in which Beethoven found
at least some minor termoils. Perhaps,
but "indolence" I would never
One seated near me in fact-I didn't
eavesdrop-went so far as to insinuate
a possible excessive length of the sym-
phony itself. Pshaw. As an organic
whole, I reassert that Masur's
"Eroica" as all others could bear no
scissors; and though it has been per-
formed with more dissonance in the
strings-perhaps never less-the loss
was only of a part of the symphony's

passion, and none at all of its beauty.
Masur and his musicians are cer-
tainly well skilled at interpretation.
Their Marcia Funebre grew into a
Pereclean oratory-no mere mar-
ch-and the oscillation between
majesty and melancholic lyricism
struck their mark: by the movement's
conclusion lyric conscience reasserted
finally the foundation of the funeral it-
self, professing with all political and
personal ramificationn majesty's lack
of pre-eminence.
As he led the orchestra into the Finale
he exposed the heart of the "eroica", an
inductive composition whose first three
movements are more evidence than
expression of the theme. The fourth
movement, with its orchestral fugue on
the variations of Beethoven's
"Theme of a Hero," presents the cause
of its manifestations: the Fiat Musica
that must have preceded its creations,
but becomes apparent only after their
perception and understanding.
The Gewandhaus Orchestra was
golden Friday evening, holding back
none of their promised richness and
warmth. Kurt Masur, and especially
his glowing string section, treated Ann
Arbor to an aural feast not soon to be

He's been through a long theatre
career then went on to become a
television cult hero. What can "Late
Night with David Letterman"
regular Larry "Bud" Mellman do to
top is already rampant success?
Well, touring the country with
some hot young comedians and
doing his own comedy show was a
natural choice for the next step in
Mellman's career progression.
Larry has been a regular on the
Letterman show ever since it first
aired back in the late 50's but his
time on weekends when the show
isn't being taped to do his own thing.
So he teamed up with comics David
Wood and Will Shriner and headed
for the comedy hotbeds of the nation
to spread his message in person. The
troup makes a stop at the Michigan
theatre tonight at 8:00 p.m.

But why would the late night
favorite want to stray beyond the
comfort of the NBC studios in New
York to enter an entertainment field
previously foreign to him? Let's just
ask Mr. Mellman.
"I love meeting people and I love
working with the different comics,"
said Mellman from Kalamazoo, site
of late night's performance. "It's a
great thrill for me. And it's a change
from just doing the David Letter-
man show."
The entourage has been travelling
for several weeks now, having
visited Kansas City and St. Louis on
plrevious weekends. Larry admits it
was difficult for him to step out in
front of the large audiences, but they
have yet to pelt him with rocks and
"The first time I was petrified, but

now it's become a lot easier," said
the New York native. "Of course I
have this brilliant material written
by my manager Brian Curry."
But even if it's not his own
material, the crowd ought to expect
some vintage Mellman antics to
come forth during his hour-long per-
"It's not exactly stand up because
I use cue cards," explained Mellman
about is show. "It's not a stand up
per se where they just go out and
talk off the top of their heads."
Remember that you never know
when exactly Larry Bud will show
up on "Late Night," so catch him
tonight when you can be certain
he'll be ther. And don't forget to
bring the toast-on-a-stick.
- Mike McGraw




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